Cultural Clubs Play for More Than Glory
Move over FIFA – a new soccer tournament is firing up St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) staff and students.
The competitive tournament sets six of the school’s cultural clubs against each other in intramural play across three weeks this month, with the final for the Cup of Nations taking place on January 24.
“There are six cultural clubs involved in the tournament: Spanish Club, Italian Club, Irish Club, Croatian Club, French Club, and Scottish Club competing for the cup,” says Georgina Garcia Garcia, teacher and moderator of the Spanish Club.
“As with any other co-curricular activity we do at St. Mike’s, the goal is creating an opportunity for them to expand their horizons, to experience beyond academics, and form strong characters through the unique combination of sport and culture together to achieve a team goal, winning the Cup of Nations for the diverse people they represent. It is powerful and beautiful.”
The idea for the tournament came about last year when the Spanish Club challenged the Italian Club to a soccer match. The clubs tied and celebrated with a pizza party following the event. While the excitement of the match spread to other clubs, there wasn’t enough time to organize a full tournament in the dome at the time.
“Since then, the plan was to include all cultural clubs this year, therefore, the Spanish Club extended the invitation to all clubs in September,” says Garcia Garcia. “The response was very fast and enthusiastic.”
“The Irish club was excited to join the tournament because it was not just about soccer but about sharing our Irish heritage amongst the many other national clubs at St. Mike’s,” says Harry Callaghan, Grade 12. “Interacting with the other clubs, such as the Spanish, Croatian, and Scottish clubs, has been a great time and has allowed us to showcase the diversity within our school while having fun doing it.”
On the field, students proudly represented their country’s flags and teams in the colours they wore.
“They are always competitive and passionate about sports, but for this cup, they are going the extra mile,” says Garcia Garcia. “It is also amazing that some boys are playing for a country that is not their homeland, which is Canada, and yet they defend the culture they are representing with the same fervour. In this gesture, I see a reflection of the citizen of the world that this school is forming.”
The Spanish Club is already busy planning next year’s tournament and hopes to add two more teams to the list of competitors: a Greek team and an African-Caribbean team.
“There is an incredible vibe between the teacher-moderators of the clubs competing in the league,” says Garcia Garcia. “It shows that the tournament is bringing not only students closer together but also teachers, which is very nice.”
SMCS regularly hosts a variety of intramural sports and activities during lunch periods or after school. So far this year, students have been able to test their skills and win prizes in soccer, teqvoly, mini-sticks, and even a SMCS-themed ‘Jeopardy’ tournament.
“These activities at SMCS allow us to create an after-school environment where we can spend time at the school not only for our education but also to have fun and spend time with friends,” says Aidan Asher, Grade 11.
“The intramural programme allowed me to interact with many people I would have never seen around the yellow brick halls,” says Callaghan. “Mr. Kos’ efforts towards the intramural programme here at St. Mike’s has allowed me to play the sports I love and helped me escape the pressures of high school. Overall, the intramural programme has been great for my experience at St. Mike’s.”